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powerHouse Books

Black Is Beautiful

Black Is Beautiful

As a founding member and vocalist in the award-winning pop-soul group The 5th Dimension, LaMonte McLemore enjoyed enormous critical and commercial acclaim in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But arguably just as impactful, if not more so, was his career as a photographer cementing Black women and models in American media and cultural history. McLemore freelanced for JET magazine for more than four decades, principally shooting for its 'Beauty of the Week' feature, which encapsulated Black joy, style, and beauty. During this time, he photographed over 500 Black women, most of whom were not professional models. The section, in which a woman was featured in a swimsuit along with her name, place of residence, profession, hobbies, and interests, became one of the most popular among the magazine's audiences, as it showcased the everyday beauty and elegance of Black women, contributing greatly to what has been called the 'first form of social m

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